From Aikido to MMA • My Martial Arts Journey So Far

From Aikido to MMA • My Martial Arts Journey So Far


From Aikido to MMA • My Martial Arts Journey
So Far Hello everyone, my name is Rokas. You may also know me as the Aikido Guy or
more recently as the Martial Arts Journey guy. Many of you may also know me from my most
viewed video which went viral called: “Aikido vs MMA” where after studying and teaching
Aikido for 13 years, I decided to prove to everyone that Aikido does not work against
a professional MMA fighter. Many things led to this step and many life
changing events happened afterwards influenced by this experiment. Since right now the Martial Arts Journey YouTube
channel holds over 400 videos telling the whole story, instead of expecting you to watch
them all, I decided to tell you my Martial Arts Journey so far of how I went from Aikido
to MMA. My Martial Arts Journey began when I was 14
years old in an Eastern European country called Lithuania. Lithuania used to be a Soviet country, which
became free from the Soviet Union during the years of my birth between 1989 to 1991. Being a young, independent country it was
still just developing it’s governmental structure and law enforcement, thus crime
rate was on a high, especially in two different cities called Kaunas and Panevezys. I was living in the latter one, which back
then was also known as Little Chicago. Unfortunately to me and my friends, who were
of peaceful nature, not only adult gangs were forming, but also young gangs imitating the
adult ones, who were taking them as role-models. And the young ones would literally hunt us
down as easy pray to beat up and mug. This forced me to be always alert and also
to contemplate violence. I found violence appalling and did not want
to take part in it, yet I also observed many of my friends getting beat up and mugged. Fortunately I was able to always find a solution
to stay safe for myself such as talking my way out of it or running away, yet I was still
deeply concerned seeing my friends getting hurt. That is when I learned about Aikido. Aikido is often times officially branded as
the art of Peace: a martial art which does not use violence and is primarily defensive. Being of peaceful nature I found it very appealing
and quickly fell in love with it. For four years I was studying it like mad,
training almost every day, sometimes more than twice per day. Unfortunately, even though my instructor presented
Aikido as a functional tool of self defense and incorporated some Kyokushin Karate elements
into the training, I never seemed to be able to use Aikido techniques to defend myself,
even though I was frequently attacked. Still, this martial art and it’s philosophy
changed my life in a very positive manner and I wanted to share that positivity with
others. Thus, after finishing high school I decided
that I will become a full time Aikido instructor and went directly to a live-in Aikido program
in Switzerland, where I spent three years intensively training. In 2012 I was ready to open my professional
Aikido school back in my country Lithuania, just a different city from where I grew up,
a city called Siauliai. I was able to open and run a successful Aikido,
Yoga and meditation Dojo for years and initially had great joy in sharing the art with other
people, yet the more time I spent contemplating about Aikido, the more I started seeing it’s
flaws. This contemplation was also influenced by
a person that I’ve met who introduced me to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which clearly showed
just how incapable I am against a live resisting opponent who knows what he is doing. Soon enough I came to a conclusion that Aikido
is entirely not effective for self defense and that it is rather a practice of movement
and self development. I also started expressing to my students clearly
that I was not teaching effective self defense. For a while, I was satisfied with this outlook
and continued not only to teach Aikido, but I also decided to start an Aikido related
YouTube channel, at the time called AikidoSiauliai – in reference to the city where my Aikido
Dojo was. The channel consisted of Aikido tutorials
and quickly became one of the three biggest Aikido YouTube channels in the world. Yet being on the spotlight of the Aikido world,
I kept being bothered by various Aikido practitioners from all over the world who claimed in my
YouTube comments section that Aikido was not only an effective means of self defense, but
that it would also work even against an MMA fighter. Frustrated with this experience, I decided
to sacrifice and risk my own reputation and imagine and decided to finish this debate
once and for all by filming a video called: “Aikido vs MMA”, where I convinced a professional
MMA fighter to spar with me and to basically show that I won’t be able to deal with him,
of which I was aware of. After all, if me – as a professional Aikido
instructor, having studied Aikido intensively for more than 13 years in multiple Aikido
styles, of which 3 years I was a live-in student with a high ranking Aikido instructor- if
I would not be able to perform well in the ring against a live resisting opponent, surely
this would prove to all Aikidoka that Aikido training is not sufficient the way it is practiced,
at least for such occasions. Knowing that I am putting my reputation on
the line, that my students after seeing this video may very well leave my Dojo and that
my Aikido career may entirely go down the drain, I was still more interested in the
Truth and revealing it to the world, than saving what I’ve built, and thus, despite
being utterly destroyed in the ring, I published the video expecting Aikido people to hate
me for opening up an ignored wound, and MMA people to make fun of my failure. The results though, were very different from
what I expected. Yes, most Aikido people did hate me and soon
turned away from me as an Aikido expert, claiming that it’s “me that failed, and not Aikido”,
yet MMA, BJJ and other functional martial artists celebrated the video and congratulated
me on my courage and for addressing something which was always in the air, yet no one, especially
Aikido experts dared to address or expose it. Seeing how most Aikidoka still neglected what
the video addressed and continued to make excuses, yet also receiving a lot of support
from those who were sincerely interested in the truth, and those who acknowledged the
presented fact, I realized it’s an important subject which needs further work, and that
it is not being publicly covered enough. Thus I shifted my channel’s focus on exploring
this subject and asking what it would take to make Aikido functional. I also started receiving many emails and messages
from people all over the world, who went through the same process as I did, of testing out
their Aikido and realizing that it does not work. I realized just how many practitioners had
the same crises of faith, yet it was not documented or made public, and they all felt that they
were the only ones who went through this experience. Through this process I made a lot of wonderful
new connections and friends, and started understanding the importance of this type of public work,
of questioning and documenting my experience even more. As I started exploring publicly what it would
take to make Aikido functional, I had the luck of receiving help from people who were
much further than me down this road throughout the entire world. I also started training BJJ more regularly
to develop a better understanding of functional martial arts. I learned many new skills and lessons and
even did a number of BJJ competitions, yet the more I continued to question Aikido, the
grimmer view I started to develop. I started realizing just how many lies I was
told about Aikido and it’s functionality. Traditional and even some philosophical aspects
of Aikido started to seem questionable too, which naturally lead me to start questioning
my Aikido mentor as well. I am consciously using the word mentor here,
as my Aikido instructor was teaching me not only techniques, but also a life perspective
which I adapted through my entire life, which suddenly became threatened as well. While in the beginning my mentor was supportive
of my explorations of questioning Aikido, which I appreciated a lot, the more I pushed
the boundaries and questioned, the less we started to see eye-to-eye, until one day I
decided to leave his organization entirely. While it was a powerful and liberating experience
initially – to become independent and have full freedom in my explorations, with time
I realized just how much of an impact this decision had on me. My mentor was as a father figure to me. He helped me find balance in my life and tools
to work towards my purpose with, yet questioning him and separating from him, made me question
every single bit of what I learned from him, and I started realizing that by far not everything
I learned from him was beneficial to me. Thus I had to breakdown all of my core beliefs
and start building them anew, questioning every bit and piece, and only adopting the
ones which I found to be suitable for me. Also, all the plentiful friends I had for
years in the organization I now left – my ties to them were suddenly entirely cut. After I officially quit, from hundreds of
people who I was close to, only a couple of them, up to this day, actually even wrote
to me. I had to come to a painful realization, that
people whom I considered part of my family for years did not understand at all what my
work was about, and what and why I was questioning. Yet that did not stop me from pursuing my
passion. I continued to question and search for truth
no matter what, which opened up new doorways and even more wonderful new connections and
discoveries. That also lead me to change my channels name
to better represent my current goals and passion, and thus the name “Martial Arts Journey”
was born. After a year has passed since the Aikido vs
MMA video was released, and after a year of explorations of how to make Aikido functional,
I decided it was time to test out my newly learned skills in the ring against the same
MMA fighter. Unfortunately I was not able to apply not
even one bit of the effort I put into making Aikido functional. Thus I was left to question once more. Inspired by a talk with a famous Brazilian
Jiu Jitsu black belt – Matt Thornton, I asked myself: does it really make sense to try to
make Aikido functional, when there are very effective functional martial arts already
out there? My intention is not to say that it is not
possible at all to make Aikido functional, yet potentially it would take years of training,
probably in various other systems of fighting, and only then it would make sense to see where
Aikido comes into play. And even then, could we still call it Aikido? I started to consider, whether instead of
doing that, it would not make more sense to drop Aikido entirely and to simply become
a student again, but this time in functional martial arts. As in the famous Bruce Lee quote: “Empty
your cup so that it may be filled.”. I realized that if I will keep holding onto
Aikido, it will just encumber my process in learning new, functional martial arts, instead
of devoting myself to them as a beginner and learning them as they are. This lead me to another difficult, major,
yet wonderful decision. With enough time and thinking I realized that
I am not suited to lead an Aikido school anymore and that it was time for me to entirely close
it and stop teaching it, in order to become a student again. It was a major shock to my students, who did
not see this step coming. I was running a Dojo with around 100 members,
many of whom were passionate about what was taught. Yet I realized that if I continued to teach,
it would had been unfair both to me and my students, since I no longer believed in Aikido
and I needed to discovered a new path. Thus I took the risk of closing my Dojo, my
main source of income without clearly knowing of what I will do, or what will happen next,
yet I trusted Life and deeply knew, that there is a next step waiting for me. And it turned out to be True. Couple of weeks after closing the Dojo I accidently
saw a post by previously mentioned, coach Matt Thornton about a program called Wimp
2 Warrior. It is a program where regular people commit
to a six month long MMA training course, taught on each work day at 5:30 AM. The goal of the program is to teach it’s
participants all the basics they need to know in order to have an amateur MMA fight at the
end of six months. I realized it was the perfect program for
me, that I could devote myself to. Thus with a blessing received from Matt Thornton,
knowing that I am welcome to join the program, I decided to move for six months to Portland,
Oregon and to devote myself entirely to being a student again. Right now, it’s already a month that I am
training in SBG Portland and this is my Martial Arts Journey so far. Many people ask me: what is my goal or what
is my next step. And honestly, I do not know myself what is
my next step. But I do know what my goal right now is: it
is to be a student again, to search for truth through martial arts, to become a better fighter
and human being each day, at least by 1% more. To share my Journey, and to inspire others
who are walking a similar path, or are questioning their own martial art or situation. To tell everyone, that it is OK to change,
that it is OK to question and that it is OK to move on if necessary. Being here in Portland for a month, I am as
happy as I ever was. I feel that I am at the right place, at the
right time. I feel that I am part of a new family again,
and I feel that I am growing each day. If I would not have dared to question myself,
to test myself, to let go of the old, and to move on, I would have never gotten here. My cup would had been too full to do so and
probably I would be stuck with my doubts in a single place, hoping that I am right in
what I was doing. Yet Life is not meant to hold on to tightly
in an attempt to control it. Life is meant to be let go to flow. And Life is meant to be Lived, even if that
means being in constant Change. If we are not allowing ourselves to do that,
we are as good as water which is stuck in one place until it goes foul. Yet if we do allow ourselves to Change, the
treasures that await us may surprise us beyond our expectations. This was Rokas and I wish you to Own Your
Journey.

Author:

100 thoughts on “From Aikido to MMA • My Martial Arts Journey So Far”

  • Martial Arts Journey says:

    I figured that as we move on to 2019 this is a great opportunity to reflect and summarize the main events that happened in the story of Martial Arts Journey. With one chapter done it is time to successfully move forward to the next one.

  • souvik mukherjee says:

    Hello Sir, this is the second video of your channel I am watching after your video on how to make Aikido actually work……Well ,you have started learning MMA and that's a great effort and I encourage you to keep your training on….now please don't misunderstand me for what I am going to state now..I don't want to hurt any sentiments of yours but please listen to me carefully…First time I started learning wing chun kung fu I thought it is only a functional art…but I started leaning about it carefully from various sources and soon found that its structure is able to produce destructive power with relaxation and remaining harmonious about it….I soon learnt that TAI CHI and a lot of other arts can do the same and they are called or classified as "INTERNAL ART"…WING CHUN that was practiced by BRUCE LEE which he learnt from GM IP MAN is world famous now…but the fact is that Bruce Lee only underlined it from the aspect of a martial art of functional art and he classified it as a very sophisticated weapon and trained like MMA fighters to be able to make highest result of it and added some other arts to it…But actually arts like TAI CHI ,WING CHUN can produce unlimited power with their structure through relaxation and fluent movements you move to the advanced stage from the fundamental stage and it takes years of training…Anyone can learn everything bit by bit soon will be able to bash anyone with them or such arts …In fact the least knowledge in WIng Chun make you able to transfer Soft chi to anyone….I don't know AIKIDO but I know INTERNAL WING CHUN and I can say from reading about it from a source that AIKIDO IS ALSO an INTERNAL ART but as I watched from some of its demonstrations ,I know that it uses some pressure points (DIM MAK in CHINESE) to strike and blow anyone but the problem is the same in WING CHUN and AIKIDO…both arts have their non-internal versions and internal versions because both can work on their functional parts without the internal relaxation that I and a lot of practitioners trough the world use….TAI CHI can't work properly without the internal relaxation ,so there is only one TAI CHI and that is internal one…If you have to master the internal part you must be devoted not only to that art but also to the other things that happen in life like helping others,exploring everything like your academic studies ,sports and a lot of things that happen in your life and practice that art regularly or on a regular discipline,there is no time limit for anyone..some people can everything one day !!But you have to go on serving that art through the life and accepting other incidents too as a part of life..this will be your life….But I agree that some art like AIKIDO is a destructive art but not all movements demonstrated can be real and effective without the functional part that is necessary in a real life and death situation..So again all the best for training for finding the functionality and I request you to train such an internal art like WING CHUN or TAI CHI from masters like SIFU DEREK FUNG PING BORE OR SIFU MOX MURUGAN ,both teach INTERNAL WING CHUN IN SYDNEY ,AUSTRALIA or any other SIFU who teaches the internal part alias method of unleashing the soft chi to the world after completion of your MMA journey and experience them to find the ultimate AIKIDO …ALL THE BEST AND HAVE A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR AND GREAT FUTURE ..

  • dragonballjiujitsu says:

    We need more people like you in the martial arts community. People seeking the truth, not just buying into the indoctrination. I admire you for having the courage to break out of the brainwashing even at the expense of friends and family.

  • Ikhenaten Nzeribe says:

    Rokas is too limited as a fighter to give good opinions about Aikido. I could blow through him in 30 seconds or less, even after his training programme because he has no fighting sense, instinct, timing. I know teenage boys who would have given the BJJ guy in his viral video a better fight. I know women who would have at least put in more fighting heart. The idea that all martial arts lead to a kind of singularity that converges on BJJ is bullshit. There are a great many things Aikido could draw from, but Rokas has no understanding, save to bow to those with more experience than him. Experience will go so far, but most pioneering innovators blew out the Old Guard without much experience – Bruce Lee being a case in point. As a many-year Capoeira fighter – another tremendous art some say "is not effective in MMA", I took Aikido to be an approach for fighting rather than the fight. As a Capoeirista, in a street fight, I am going to run, or hit the assailant in the face with my skateboard (what I did the last time). So yes, this journey is good for Rokas and maybe him alone. I don't take much from it. I am a boxer today, looking to move into coaching. It doesn't make my Capoeira suddenly less useful because my first choice would be to throw hands; it just makes it another tool – which is what Aikido is. All the "peace and love" shit I always took with a pinch of salt but I suppose Rokas swallowed it whole.

  • Of course aikido doesn't work against a professional fighter! What do you mean you have to "prove" it?
    Aikido IF PRACTICED IN A COMBATIVE WAY CAN BE USED AGAINST NON PROFESSIONALS, unless you enhance it with correct strike training.

  • You possess the traits of humility, wisdom, intellect, curiosity, and very importantly, courage. This may be one of the most inspiring things I've ever seen. May your leadership by example continue to influence more of us, and I say all of this as someone who has spent years training in Aikido.

  • question how many of you guys ran into a pro fighter on the streets? yeh certain martial arts have big weaknesses but really how many people walk around training mma Bjj etc etc to hit you ? or assault you ? common in real life any martial art you study will work against average joe on the street

  • Too sad that you closed your dojo, Aikido is beautiful as an art, what I did is just take the essence of the style, also did train Wing Chun, Imua Limalama, Accu-pressure points, Chin-Na, and Kali, but just work with the essence of each one, like Aikido footwork and the no resistance force against force but flow with the attack, the blocking from Wing Chun, the kicks from Limalama, the locks and hitting nerves and joints from Chin-Na, and the weapons and elbow techniques from Kali, just imagine the simple combinations one can do against a real attack, of course I use weapons including a gun but thats the very last option. Remember….a real fight is not a sport nor fair. Salutes from Texas.

  • Can I just say first off, props to you sir. Amazing, truly amazing for you to see, what you spoke about and the years you put in, to then combat ego like a man and see efficacy in others and inefficiency in another. With all the years!!!!. So rare men and people in general do this and can I just say, admirable and a real man right there. Pride swallowed and improved.

  • This is my favorite video from you. You made a hard decision and this was the best thing what you have done. I had the same reason to stop learning Aikido and swiched to boxing. I wish you the best! Respect and congrats!

  • Pedro Vilella BJJ says:

    tape your BJJs rolls. you don't need to share it, just so you can track you progress in live sparring. I watched a vid of me with a 2 years lapse, is crazy to see…

  • You arranged an MMA fighter to prove that you would have not been able to deal with him? You sound very scientific with your approach to Martial Arts and approach to pretty much everything. However, your aim and your cognitive bias skewed your experiment and you probably set yourself to fail. After all, this is what you wanted to prove. It strikes me to see your posture, footwork and movement fluidity and you declare yourself to be the Aikidoka to sacrifice himself to prove the world that Aikido is useless. The problem is that after 13 years if your martial art didn't improve have you given a thought that something went wrong from the start? Looking at your Aikido footage the black belts in your dojo weren't exactly spectacular in aikido either.

    My point I am trying to make:
    Your failure proving the value of Aikido doesn't mean anything in the world of Martial Arts.
    Your fighting skills are not and cannot be a baseline for any martial art's effectiveness. No matter, how long you practice. For a scientific approach, you need more people to test the theory and the method of the test must be repeatable.
    After 13 years of doing Aikido, you believe a 6 months Bootcamp will get you ready to fight in UFC? Oh well… It sounds as if you are a bit naive. After all, you were the best specimen for proving the worth of Aikido.

    Before you think I am an Angry Aikidoka or keyboard warrior… I am not. I just think that you are not on the right path to prove anything here.

  • I am glad you are very open minded to change. Fear of change is seen in many things and seen in many aspects of life like games, business management and martial arts. I have not seen very much martial art practitioners let loose of their ego and try to see the flaws of what they teach like you did… and I'm glad you took the courage and risk of losing your valued persons to discover the 'truth'. I look very much look forward to your transformation as a martial arts practitioners

  • To be bluntly honest your'e aikido is quite poor, and you yourself are more a geeky person than a sporty person, you would get smashed in any combat sport you do. Maybe try what you did with someone who is decent at aikido and has a bit of fight in them. Sorry to be so brutally honest but I just think you are going about things totally wrong.

  • World's Best Players says:

    I have trained aikido and currently on mma while yeah skill and training make difference in fight the biggest factor I have perceived is size and strength because after a certain amount of devolping skills 6'8 guy 250lb can just take some hits from you then carry you slam you to the ground and that's it(I was fortunate that I haven't encountered one that big😁) yeah smaller guy can take down bigger one but only if the bigger one is totally stupid and not well trained

  • Respect to you. It is very difficult for people to accept that something that they have always believed in is false. The fact that you decided to close your school and dare to start something new as a complete beginner is like an old priest accepting that his religion is false in terms of probability.

  • Not this fucki'n idiot!!! Lithuanian ginocologist. I would LOVE to fight you fuckhead rokass! Rip ya fucki'n testicles off!!!!

  • Thank you for your research and sharing your journey. I have been on such a journey myself for about 40 years. I am a mixed martial artist as a result of this journey. I would like to share where Aikido has been helpful in my Law Enforcement career. There are some common techniques which are used by police regularly. Ikkyo (Ude-Osae) is used in the "Escort Position" in the basic escorting of prisoners; Nikkyo (Kote-Mawashi) is used in the "Transport Wrist-Lock", when prisoners would become resistant during escort; Sankyo (Kote Hineri) is used in the application of handcuffing. In weapon retention, utilizing Tenkai and Tenkan is very valuable in affecting a release from the firearm in the holster; especially for officers who do not have a lot of strength. The utilization of these techniques have increased the level of control, reduced injuries per encounter, and reduced liability as a result.

  • Monkey D. BoomE says:

    There is a lot of truth IN Aikido. Just have to know what truths to apply. But same can be said about multiple martial arts. I applaud you, sir, on having the courage to take the steps necessary to find the/a complete truth.

  • I’ve been watching your videos for about two years now and I’m so happy about how far you’ve come. I’m also a former aikidoka and I trained for 13 years. I’m getting back into martial arts (this time with karate) after almost 7 years of being off the mat. Even when I was younger, I’ve always thought of mixing disciplines since a lot of my favorite martial arts (especially Bruce Lee and Cynthia Rothrock) often do so as well. While my dojo heavily focused on the Aikikai style since my teacher trained with the first doshu and is best friends with the current one, they often invited other dojos to demonstrate what skills they want to share. As a result, I was able to learn more up arts up close such as Penchak Silat and BJJ. My teacher also made up some simpler move sets during his down time and he emphasized that Aikido is more philosophical than defensive but some of these applications can be spread across disciplines.
    However, even with these creative endeavors, a good number of my instructors still came away with those same ideas of Aikido being very effective practically and disparaging the more practical “violent” martial arts. Combine that with the hierarchical style and having to ask permission to even demonstrate the techniques outside of the school and it made making connections with my peers much harder to achieve. I left Aikido at 17 and I was 2nd kyu. I tried getting back in in college but the styles they had were different and some of that permission mentality lingered. Fast forward through years of martial arts films and the yearning to go back into martial arts and I find your channel. I really feel like I’ve learned so much from you and what I had been experiencing all my life was just as valid. Thanks to you (as well as Wonder Woman), I’m stepping back onto the mat again and I realized what I really enjoy from martial arts – you’re always in a beginner mindset even with a master certification so go out and play.
    Thank you so much for continuing this channel even with all of the changes. I’m wishing you all the best in 2019!

  • its funny .. how I started watching this channel as a doubter and admired it more with every video you uploaded, now I am a curious follower to see where is this going, along the way there were tons of things I learned from your experiences. so thank you for the great work. and I hope you keep it up… as a fan can I kindly request to share your opinion on competing in full contact sports?

  • I'm practicing a very rare kind of aikido, which techniques are way harder than aikikai and more effective. It's called Takeda Ryu Nakamura Ha. It's mostly based in Europe though, Have you heard of it 🙂 ?

  • Israel Almanzar says:

    A variety of tools works best. I do Aikido, and have used it successfully in many fugitive recovery, and private security actions. Getting off line, entering at an angle, using strikes to prepare the body/bodies I had to deal with, are crucial. Adding what it takes to win/be successful in the interaction just proved Dozens of times that it does work. when you restrict yourself to just any One thing sets you up for failure. I did see you video with the MMA guy- we are clearly different kinds of Aikidoka. not trying to negative critique; but it was not good- He went light on you, and You performed as we all saw. MMA is effective, as are many of other things- an open mind, superior attitude, and commitment to a resolve are also great tools. No stance- No Style- No mind… I evolved to just being one with it…
    Bless. I wish you more of what you seek, and more than what you seek for yourself- HAI!!!

  • Seems to me that some of the problems with Aikido would be abated if both opponents were wearing heavyweight armor or using long heavy weapons that weighed a couple of pounds.

    If you use a foundation of wrestling, build BJJ onto that, and Aikido onto that, it could be a great combo. Heavy armor and weapons would greatly diminish any value in striking martial arts and greatly increase the ease of use for slower, more hold-and-leverage based martial arts.

    I say this a a guy that is a fan of the "HEMA" sword-martial-arts movement.

  • I feel sorry.. You look like didn't understand the aikido concept, aikido is too difficult for you, you better go to another more 'easy art'..because aikido is soo difficult for you to understand..too bad

  • This is strange, I have not studied Aikido as long but I have found the techniques very effective when applied to my other martial art training? I use some of the locks and throws often. Also my sense is a police officer who leads a organised-crime task force, he often tells me about situations where he has used Aikido to defend himself and take down criminals. Once using and Aikido throw and pin to subdue a man in domestic violence situation. I'm just surprised you can't find any use of Aikido in your fighting? This sounds like a dig, but honestly, maybe it's just you are not good at martial arts? I mean is part of so many martial arts and security training techniques? If you study Aikido you see it all over the place and people don't even realise that's what it is. I look forward to you getting better at MMA, but if you keep getting your ass kicked it might not be the art that's the problem. Good luck.

  • Unfortunately your aikido is poor. I heard you are a Sandan. Poor lineage (instructors). I would give you 1st kyu maybe shodan at very best. Don't be an advocate of all aikido please.

  • ᶠᶸᶜᵏᵧₒᵤ says:

    Nothing but a dance school for hipsters. What a terrible role model you are leading your students a stray. You should issue a refund!

  • Am I the only one who wants to see this guy losing an mma fight and in the last 30 seconds pulls off some crazy Aikido technique and submit the opponent

  • GranadaESPAerials Drone Photo Video& More says:

    Totally 100% true.. That´s why i switched to Tenshin Global With Jaime Calderon sensei and Steven Seagal sensei now.. Totally different aikido, practical aikido, less hugging, less paying fortunes to Aikikai ( black belt factory ,as many call them ) and more street and reality attacks and velocity… We now know how to face street´s reality… Sharing with a bunch of tree huggers, will not lead to success against real life situations.. and that´s what Aikiaki an traditional aikido teach,, Tree hugging and paying for black a black belt… ( this will sting, but ……. )….

  • DEJAN JOVANOVIC says:

    1. You really need to see Serbian aikido- "Real Aikido".
    2. Today BJJ is almost useless without striking techniques, if you blind your opponent with simple but Furious punches you can do aikido with his hands whatever you want.
    3. You really need to be beaten and lose a real fight at least once in your life and then deal and survive post fight depression there is no better motivation.

  • Thanks for sharing your journey.
    It takes a lot of courage, passion and humbility to do what you´re doing. OSS!

    Sorry about my english… not my first language. Greetings from Argentina.

  • The irony is that you started aikido because you wanted to defend yourself without hurting anyone. Now you're studying an art which is based on hurting people. You have become the thing you feared and hated in order to defeat it.

  • I admire your courage to step outside your comfort zone mma is a good start but there's also stuff outside of it like ww2 combative it focuses on the psychology part defending yourself against more than one attacker and how to defend against weapons I recommend you looking up Nick dorso as well as Lee Morrison of Urban combatives I stepped out of my comfort zone with MMA found it was missing a lot of things also

  • giorgio ciaravolol says:

    I've great respect for you and what you are doing. I'm from Italy, 21 yrs old, but our stories are pretty similar. I practiced for self defense Iwama Ryu Aikido in a small town since I was 11. Then I changed the vision of things after talking to other people about it. If you want some advices for your journey you should try Kudo, it's pretty popular in your country 😄 I just started practicing it, but it's really cool! Keep it up like that, I love your channel!

  • I have seen a lot of people quit Aikido after these videos became popular. There probably isn't a future for this art

  • I have so much respect for the courage you showed in facing a painful truth, and making the changes you knew you needed to.

  • - 武神館 山馬 道場Bujinkan Yama Uma Dojo says:

    Hi Rokas. My name is Américo and i follow you for quite some time now. Iam in a Journey just like you. I train Bujinkan Ninjutsu for 20 Years now and i had the same questions as you. I live in Brazil so i thought it would be a great ideia lo learn bjj , and that was about 8 years ago. Today im a bjj Black Belt and i still teach , train and learn ninjutsu, most of all because it is what i always wanted to learn. After all those years, i found out that they complemeant each other, more then be separate each other. Now im in a quest to learn the real self defense system of jiu jitsu, the original Helio Gracie self defense and vale tudo tecniques. i guess we are all in a quest on the world, but i really admire your courage and hope to meet you someday. Hugs from Brazil my martial brother. Américo

  • withoutmyheart says:

    You love for martial arts is truly inspirational. It must have been heartbreaking to realise such cold hard truths after more than a decade of dedication. Never stop practising aikido. There is beauty in it’s philosophies and movements like taichi. It will serve you well in old age. I wish you passion and courage as you embark on your new journey into the more functional and combative aspects of martial arts. You truly are an exemplary lifelong student of the martial arts. Keep soldiering on!

  • Very well said and inspiring my friend, congratulations on your chosen path and new journey as I’m sure you’ve found your new home 😊! Keep doing what your doing. BTW, Matt Thornton SBG is the truth brother and he will guide you in the right direction.

  • It feels like u are in love with the romance of martial arts then rather the real reason behind it. Martial arts is for war to knock out some one say cannot hurt u it’s violence it just seems u don’t have killer instincts to hurt some one hate to passive and would have done better just sticking to your akido

  • I was a wing chun practitioner, I practiced wing chun for 4 years . After few years of practice i started to receive doubts on my mind so i decided to use wing chun in ring, on that day i got the answer , after few days i moved on and started mma, now my dream is to become a mma world champion

  • Ok I do the yoshinkan style of aikido and I believe that everything you learn has a purpose and it's place in life I believe that aikido is a tool set which everyone can adapt in their own way I don't believe you proved aikido don't work against a mma fighter I believe you just proved your aikido don't work against a mma fighter depends how you approach it and aikido also teaches defence against all things and it is not essential that an offensive technique is generated by a grab.

  • El Facho Conservador says:

    Just wondering, have you looked up "real aikido" videos? It's a hybrid martial art drawing on judo, jujutsu and aikido. It sort of resembles Krav Maga in several ways. I doubt you can use it in a MMA context, but if your opponent is an untrained fighter, then it looks effective to me, at least regarding the simplest techniques. They're actually throwing people without so much uke collaboration. This is what I've seen so far: https://youtu.be/wSgiKehbIW8

  • I am so thankful that I found this video at the beginning of my journey. I cannot wait to see what the future has for you.

  • Thanks for sharing you journey, Sensei Rokas. It’s been insightful and inspirational. Best of luck on your MMA bout and your continuing martial-arts exploration.

  • While there's a lot to commend here and I love your videos, there are some general points worth saying:

    1) There are a lot of cultish people in Aikido. But there are a lot of cultish people in BJJ too. In fact having done BJJ for 6 years and Aikido for 3, BJJ is even more cultish and has it's own delusions. It's a problem in many martial arts.

    2) The problem isn't Aikido being "ineffective", it's a problem with Aikido and the martial arts community not being objective and honest about what it is they are teaching. I've moved on to Kendo precisely because there's no BS about what it is/isn't. It's refreshing.

    3) Martial arts numbers, if you look at google trends, seem to be actually dwindling in many places. Even BJJ has dropped a bit. There seems to be less people training in my city than there was even 15 years ago. There have been Karate, Aikido, TKD, Kung Fu, even MMA and BJJ classes that have all shut down in the last 2 years. Martial arts have a real problem right now: Due to a history of dubious claims and the modern obsession with "what works", most people don't have the heart/desire to do MMA for any amount of time, but most people don't see the point in doing more traditional martial arts anymore. The net result of all that is this martial arts wasteland with overall decline in the numbers of people training.

  • I’m not a martial artist, but I spend a lot of time thinking. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. That being said, I do love Bruce Lee, and with what little I know about him (and you), what you are doing sounds very much like what he went through developing his own style. Think on! And may your own thoughtfulness inspire and overcome!

  • Oh oh please bjj guys fix my aikido…i apologise for bringing it to your attention boo hoo….you are supreme….geeeeeessssse!

  • I am an aikido Nidan. I am also a brown belt in BJJ under Professor Draculino in Texas. I appreciate your journey.

  • Daniel Troche Jiménez says:

    you have no idea what Aikido is, nor do you understand what MMA is. and your Aikido style is quite erroneous.

  • Sensei Richard Smith says:

    It sounds like you did what was best for you in the end. Leaving your Mentor as hard as it may have been opened your doors as it should in the end. Always make the arts for YOU in the end that work. You out grew him even though he introduced you, that is really a good thing when the student surpasses the teacher. Kudos young man.

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